Many of these stinging insects are social. They live in colonies with a caste system or a division of labour and overlapping generations -- all offspring came from one individual reproductive. Some of these colonies persist for many years (ants, honeybees) and others, like stinging wasps, start a new colony each year.
Include: Yellowjackets, bumble bees, carpenter bees, honeybees, hornets, and wasps. Painful, dangerous stings especially if allergic. Carpenter bees and wood wasps bore into wood, potentially causing structural damage
Although the first image to come to mind implies danger to humans, these yellowjackets, hornets, and wasps sometimes serve our interest: They feed their young largely on flies and caterpillars.
Honey bee venom contains almost 20 active substances. Melittin, which is 100 times more potent than hydrocortisol, adolapin, cyclooxygenase, apamin, compound X, hyaluronidase, phospholipase A2, histamine, and Mast Cell Degranulating Protein (MSDP), etc. There are also measurable amounts of the neurotransmitters Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Seratonin.
Wasp venom changes depending upon the type of wasp. Most have similar ingredients to the bee but the make up is different in the percentages of each ingredient. One of the main differences between the wasp sting vs. the bee sting is the way the two inject their venom.
The wasp thrusts his shaft into the victim and the lancets move rapidly backwards and forwards (sliding along the stylet) in a sawing action. The lancets are barbed, meaning, they have small backward-pointed hooks along their edges. As the shaft penetrates further into the victim's body, the barbs allow anchorage against the flesh until the alternate lancet moves forward and 'claws' the shaft deeper into the wound. The movement of the lancets also enables a pumping action to take place at the abdomen end of the shaft. This causes the poison sac to pump venom down through a central poison canal.
Both Bees and Wasps sting their victims using a similar process but there is an essential difference, especially important when the victim being stung is a human being. Bee lancets have larger barbs than wasps. The bee is unable to rip the shaft back out through the wound due to the barbs' resistance against the firmness of human flesh. The wasp stinger has lancets with very small barbs, more like fine serrated edges. A wasp can extract the shaft and fly off contented with having executed a nasty attack on the helpless victim. On the other hand, the poor old bee ends up having his entire stinging apparatus, poison sac and all, wrenched out of its abdomen. The bee will later die due to the damage caused to its body.